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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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When I wanted to get a book on canning, I decided to get the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving.

This book is a good one for beginners, because it has a fairly large section at the back called "The Art and Science of Food Preservation," which explains everything a person would need to know about home canning. For those who want to jump right into canning without reading too much, the first section of the book has recipes for five popular foods (Strawberry Jam, Mint Jelly, House Salsa, Traditional Corn Relish, and Dill Pickles) that are heavy on the detail. I found this strawberry jam recipe to be helpful the first time I made jam, because I was a bit nervous and the recipe gave easier and more detailed instructions than most recipes do.

Also within this cookbook are a troubleshooting section and an extensive glossary, that are helpful to a novice canner such as myself.

Another nice feature of this book is the sheer variety of recipes. Flipping through the pages, I see so many interesting recipes that I'd like to try some time in the future, and lots of recipes that would be excellent for gift giving. The book includes sections on jams and jellies, canned fruit, salsa, relish and chutney, condiments, pickles, and tomatoes. After all this is a small section on pressure canning with a handful of recipes.

Overall, I like this book and I can definitely see myself using some of the more creative recipes in the future for holiday gift-giving. However, my one complaint is that the variety of unique recipes means that some basic recipes have been left out. For example, when I wanted to make raspberry jam a few days ago, I was surprised to find no recipe for plain raspberry jam in this book. There was a natural jam recipe using tart apples instead of pectin that requires a long boiling time, but not a regular jam recipe. This wasn't a tragedy, since the sheet that comes inside the box of pectin has recipes for all the basic jams and jellies, but I did think it was strange that a book with the word "complete" in the title didn't have a recipe for raspberry jam!

I would recommend this book to novice and experienced canners alike for the easy instructions, and for the large number of interesting recipes--but I don't think it's really a complete resource for canning. In the future, I'd like to get a few more canning books to ensure I have easy access to all the basic and traditional recipes I would like. Although perhaps I'm just making up an excuse to buy more books...something which I'm good at. :)
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on June 18, 2016
My nephew bought this for my dear sister for her birthday. When I saw her copy, I knew I had to have one as well. In addition to the invaluable instructions and recipes, I appreciate the spiral bound cover, the photos and excellent layout.
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on June 9, 2016
The only issue I have with this book , is that, the recipes are not the same as the older book. These recipes are more complicated and require days to make for some. Not considered a problem , just giving a brief outline.
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on November 29, 2010
When I saw this book on a store shelf, I just looked for a few specific recipes. Since the book seemed to have what I wanted, I went ahead and ordered it. I already owned several canning books that were all lacking here and there - that's why I had several!
When this book arrived, I started going through it page by page. WoW~ I haven't touched the other books since.
The only flaw I found is that some recipes will make far more than indicated, but that seems to happen with all books.
Also worth mentioning is that there is a helpline for Bernardin, so if you have any questions, they'll provide an answer. I phoned in about a recipe, and customer service went through some searches to provide me with the answer.
So, I don't hesitate to give a full five stars.
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on June 5, 2013
If you're new to canning (as I am), this book is a great place to start. There are tons of recipes as well as variations for many of them. It contains a thorough troubleshooting guide and produce purchasing guide. It even has tables that list the altitude for some major cities in the US and Canada.

There are sections for both boiling water bath canning and pressure canning, although the boiling water section is considerably larger.

All in all, a great go-to book that has enough recipes to keep you busy for most of your canning career.
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on August 25, 2012
This book has tons of recipes and ideas, especially for the boiling water methods and some for the pressure canning method as well. It has a lot of information on canning itself, what to do and not do, which is important for the beginner who has no idea what to do. It has more traditional recipes and then some that are a little different (i.e. Lemon Zucchini Marmalade). I've tried probably about 10 - 15 recipes in this book so far, and they have all been quite good. I would definitely recommend it.
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on July 21, 2013
I found the Bernardin complete .book of Home Preserving to be excellent! I first picked it up in our local library and after reviewing it decided that I had to have a copy Its writing is clear and unambiguous.The amount of material covered is is impressive. The techniques used are clearly explained and the reasons for the technique are also explained, and substitutions are suggested for hard get items..And lastly this book contains recipes for pickles I haven't seen since my mothers kitchen.
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on December 19, 2015
Lots of great recipes but I wish there were more pictures. Also..there is no recipes or tips on how to can just meats and that's one of the things I was hoping to see in there
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on August 17, 2013
This book covers everything you need for canning, how to do it and super recipes that I have already tried and enjoyed. If you're a newbie to canning, this is the book for you. If you're already experienced in canning, you'll love the recipe ideas!
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on September 10, 2012
The book isn't quite what I was expecting. It contains mostly recipes about normal hot water canning. I was looking for pressure canning recipes. It has some. The order came quickly.
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